Flying Lotus says Pharrell Williams turned down album guest slot because of death theme

The producer's forthcoming 'You're Dead' LP features collaborations with Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg

Flying Lotus has revealed that Pharrell Williams turned down the chance to appear on his forthcoming new album because he “didn’t wanna write a song about death”.

The producer will release his fifth studio album ‘You’re Dead’ on October 6. It features ‘Never Catch Me’, a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar as well as appearances from Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock and Flying Lotus’ alter-ego Captain Murphy.

In an interview in this week’s NME, which is on newsstands from today (September 24) and available digitally, the producer opens up about the theme of death on the album. “In my mind, it starts at the moment of death,” he says. “When the switch goes off, when you press play, you’re dead already. Then there’s confusion, and it’s strange and different. And the resolution is understanding and acceptance… I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a dead body, but it doesn’t feel like there’s a soul in it. There’s something about the spirit that illuminates the life.”

However, the theme jarred with some potential collaborators on the album, he says. “Pharrell wanted to contribute too,” he says. “But he had issues with the kind of songs to write. He didn’t wanna make a self-fulfilling prophecy… he didn’t wanna write a song about death and then die the next day… and I totally respect that.”

‘You’re Dead!’ is Flying Lotus’ first release since his 2012 LP ‘Du∆lity’, a mixtape that was put out under Ellison’s animated Captain Murphy guise.